There is a link between visual attention and creativity concerning the generation of rare and flexible decisions/solutions. However, the relationship between individual differences in attentional capability and creative decision making has not yet been investigated in detail. The current study scrutinized this link in a sport‐specific divergent thinking task including videos of real game situations and compared performances between football players being divided into two different expertise levels (expert and amateur football players). We conducted a multiple linear regression analysis to assess whether attentional capability along the attentional focus’ meridians (horizontal, vertical, diagonal) and participants’ expertise level predict creative decision making. The attentional capability along the horizontal meridian of participants’ attentional focus and participants’ expertise level emerged as positive predictors. The findings provide evidence of a relationship between football players’ spatial distribution of attention that match the demands of their sport and an expertise advantage in sport‐specific creative decision making. Implications are not only important for sports, but also for all areas in which spatial attention is required in order to generate unusual solutions.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.